Supplementing traditional agricultural practices with auxiliary or subsidiary occupations in India

Photo credit: Indian Express

The Punjab government and PAU are stressing this and have made “subsidiary occupations” the theme of Kisan Melas.

Beyond traditional farming

Crops not enough to sustain them, farmers make it work with dairy, fishery, and implement hiring.

Written by Anju Agnihotri Chaba | Jalandhar

EXCERPT

According to experts, Indian agriculture employs 60 per cent of the population but its contribution to GDP is a mere 14 per cent. In coming years, only an estimated 40 per cent people will remain in agriculture owing to crises in the field and diminishing income, said Kulwant Singh Ahluwalia, a member of the PAU board of management, himself an agriculture expert and progressive farmer, at a Kisan Mela held recently. Around 61 per cent of farmers who participated in a survey said they would readily quit farming should they get alternative jobs in urban areas. Farming, according to them, has become a problem of high production cost and low income — with very little promise of change.

In this scenario, the role of progressive farmers such as Harinder becomes crucial. Their success not only defies the prevalent beliefs but also proves that supplementing traditional agricultural practices with auxiliary or subsidiary occupations is sustainable and yields higher returns.

The Punjab government and PAU are stressing this and have made “subsidiary occupations” the theme of Kisan Melas. Subsidiary occupations involve dairy farming, fishery, beekeeping, custom hiring on farm implements and piggery among others, and training programmes for these are conducted through Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) throughout the state.

Read the full article: Indian Express

Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.